The Internet gets a lot of grief for being a repository for porn, incorrect information, and pointless memes designed solely to waste the time of people who should be working -- but it's not all bad. Occasionally, something turns up online that's both historical and educational. Take, for instance, this YouTube clip featuring Kodak testing color film way back in 1922. If you're a film geek/historian, this is very cool.

The four minutes of footage is historical because it was a test of Kodachrome color motion picture film from way back in 1922 -- and the first color feature was still 13 years away at that point. Thomas Hoehn saw the footage at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film and set about having the film scanned and digitized so we could all see it. Hoehn definitely deserves kudos for that. You can read more about the process at his blog.

The clip itself is quite stunning. The colors have an ethereal quality to them that makes them seem almost timeless. Looking at the footage, you know it's old -- but it also seems almost modern on some levels because of the presence of color. Hoehn explains that the "flicker" was the result of different densities in the old film stock and the hand-cranking filming process. They left it in the clip for authenticity's sake.

The piece features several actresses, including Mae Murray, Hope Hampton, and Mary Eaton, as well as an unidentified woman and child all striking poses and modeling costumes. It's like looking through a window into the past
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Check out the clip after the jump and be sure to stop by Thomas Hoehn's blog for more details about this cinematic treasure.



[NY Mag]